Is It Worth It?: DIY vs. Professional Car Repairs
February 15th, 2023 | Nate Dahl
Just imagine…Your car starts making a funny noise, won’t start, or getting up there in miles. You open up your bank account and are faced with a tough decision.
You find yourself having to decide between buying diapers for the kid, or fixing the family caravan…nobody likes making that decision.
Why not learn how to fix your vehicle yourself, gain some new skills, tools, AND save some $$$ while you are at it?
In this article, we will go over some of the pros and cons of Doing-It-Yourself (DIY) vs. having a Professional shop do the repairs on your vehicle.
When it comes to vehicle repairs, it depends on the nature and complexity, as well as your level of experience/expertise with car repairs. Simple repairs such as changing a tire or replacing a battery can often be done with basic tools, while more complex repairs such as engine or transmission work may require professional expertise and specialized equipment. Additionally, if you make a mistake during a repair, it could lead to further damage and potentially cost more to fix in the long run.
But heck, why not give it a shot, and see if you enjoy it?
With that said, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits of DIY car repairs and decide whether it’s worth it or not. That’s why you’re here right?
Pros of DIY Car Repairs:
- Cost savings: DIY repairs can save you money on labor costs and markups on parts.
- Control: You have complete control over the repair process and can ensure that it’s done to your satisfaction.
- Learning opportunity: You can learn valuable skills and gain knowledge about your car’s systems and components, which can help you with future repairs and maintenance.
- Convenience: You can work on your car at your own pace and on your own schedule.
- New Tools: Some repairs may require tools that you do not already own, but even with purchasing the tools, you can still save money in the end.
Cons of DIY Car Repairs:
- Limited expertise: If you’re not experienced in car repairs, you may not have the knowledge or skills to complete more complex repairs, which can lead to mistakes and further damage to your car.
- Safety concerns: Car repairs can be dangerous, especially if you’re working with electrical or fuel systems, and you may not have the proper safety equipment or training to do the repair safely.
- Time-consuming: DIY repairs can take longer than a professional repair, especially if you run into unexpected issues.
- Lack of warranty: If something goes wrong with your DIY repair, you may not have the same warranty or guarantee on the work as you would with a professional repair.
You never know the bitter without the sweet, so even with some of the challenges that DIY Car Repairs presents, it also provides some incredible benefits too. Let’s take a look at the flip side, when it comes to bringing Ol’ Reliable into the pros.
Pros of Professional Car Repairs:
- Expertise: Professional mechanics have the knowledge, skills, and experience to diagnose and repair a wide range of car issues.
- Tools and equipment: Professional shops have specialized tools and equipment to perform repairs accurately and efficiently.
- Warranty: Professional shops often offer a warranty or guarantee on their work, providing peace of mind and protection in case something goes wrong.
- Time-saving: Professional repairs are often faster than DIY repairs, as mechanics have the expertise and tools to quickly diagnose and fix problems.
Cons of Professional Car Repairs:
- Cost: Professional repairs can be more expensive than DIY repairs, as you’re paying for the mechanic’s time, expertise, and parts markups.
- Lack of control: You may not have as much control over the repair process or be able to oversee the work being done.
- Downtime: You’ll need to leave your car at the shop for the duration of the repair, which can be inconvenient and result in downtime for your daily activities.
- Potential for unnecessary repairs: Some mechanics may recommend unnecessary repairs or maintenance tasks to increase their profit, so it’s important to choose a reputable and trustworthy shop.
The Bottom Line
As you can see from the comparison of DIY vs. Professional Car Repairs, they are basically mirror images of each other. In my opinion, it really comes down to one thing:
What is your time worth?
On one hand, you could easily drop the car off at the shop, take the loaner car and spend some quality time with your family or doing anything you please.
On the other hand, you could use that same time to do some research, purchase a couple tools, and do the repairs yourself (as long as you are comfortable with the complexity of the job, of course).
The latter of the two can be an effective way to add some new tools to your tool box (no pun intended…), create a new hobby for yourself and potentially with a family member or friend, and SAVE some money in the end (even if you have to purchase a couple new tools for the job).
Now that you have had a chance to weigh the pros and cons, it’s up to you to choose your path. Whichever decision you go with is up to you, but if you want my advice, give DIY a shot. Start with something simple, and you just might surprise yourself with how “handy” you really are, and might even enjoy it 🙂 Good luck!
If you decide to make the decision to give DIY Car Repairs a shot, here are some of the online resources available to help you along the way.
DIY Car Repair Resources:
- YouTube: There are numerous video tutorials available on YouTube that cover a wide range of car repairs and maintenance tasks.
- Online Forums: There are many online forums dedicated to car repair and maintenance, where you can ask questions and get advice from experienced mechanics and other car enthusiasts.
- Manufacturer’s Websites: Most car manufacturers have detailed online resources that provide information on how to perform specific repairs on their vehicles.
- Repair Manuals: Many repair manuals are available online in both print and digital formats, providing step-by-step instructions for common repairs and maintenance tasks.
- Online Parts Retailers: Online retailers such as AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts, 1A Auto, RockAuto provide detailed repair and maintenance guides for many common repairs, as well as parts and tools for purchase.
***It’s important to note that while these resources can be helpful, it’s still important to have a good understanding of your own mechanical skills and capabilities before attempting any repairs.